When California’s Prop 64 passed in November, it left various questions unanswered. Many think that it’s currently legal to use or grow marijuana anywhere in the state, but that isn’t the case. There are a few parts of the state where you can’t partake in anything marijuana related.
In national parks, for instance, it is not legal to use, grow or do any processing of marijuana, according to The Porterville Recorder. National forests are also off-limits where marijuana is concerned because they are under federal jurisdiction.
Mike Theune of the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks said, “The consumption, usage and possession of marijuana on federal lands is still illegal even though it is legal within the state-run lands in California.”
Don Hoang, U.S. Forest Service special agent, said, “Although it may be legal under California law, all National Forest System lands, including the Sequoia National Forest, are federal public lands and subject to the Federal Controlled Substance Act and the Code of Federal Regulations. As a controlled substance, marijuana is illegal to possess, use or manufacture.”
Even if you use marijuana for medical purposes, there are no free passes. The law abides to medical marijuana patients as well.
Theune said, “Medical marijuana is a state law, not a federal law, and when you are on federal land, federal laws apply.”
If you are caught with marijuana in the national parks or forests, you’ll be given fines and other penalties. The severity of the penalties would be determined by any other charges that would be filed.
Hoang said, “Proposition 64 has no effect on fines or penalties from violations of federal law.”
In regards to those punishments, Theune said, “The possession or consumption of marijuana within the boundaries of the national park, such as Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, is a federal offense, which means that they [violators] can be given a ticket. The laws have been in the books for many years and there hasn’t been a change in the federal laws just because Proposition 64 passed in California.”